“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.  My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy ... in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music ...”

John Adams–
School teacher and President of the United States

Portland Pearson Protest -- Photo Archive

— About 100 people attended a rally organized by Oregon Badass Teachers to protest Pearson, a corporation whose name has become synonymous with high stakes testing. Many attending belonged to organizations that fought to pass legislation that would make it easier for parents to opt their children out of such tests. Stand for Children opposed the bill with saber-rattling threats urging the governor to veto it. Kathleen Hagans Jeskey, event organizer, announced during the march that Governor Kate Brown had just signed the Opt-Out bill into law drawing ecstatic cheers from the crowd.  (...more)

Common Core at the Learning Store?

— Although some parents are beginning to opt-out their children from high stakes standardized tests, others are hunkering down for the challenge believing that their children will defiantly beat the odds -- as only one-third of students are predicted to pass the SBAC or PARCC. "Parents come in and ask for books to help their kids with Common Core and the tests, and I direct them to these shelves," she says as she gestures. She directs me to shelves of books displaying Common Core icons on the cover. I browse the math selection.  (...more)

Yong Zhao Keynote at the Network for Public Education with Script

— Thank you Yong Zhao for the wonderful and entertaining insights in your keynote speech to over 600 parents and educators at the Network for Public Education in Chicago this past week. And thank you, too, to Mercedes Schneider for transcribing it so masterfully so that we bloggers can highlight delightful excerpts from it for our posts.  (...more)

John Oliver and PAA on Standardized Testing

— I cringe to think that at sometime in the near future a video of me, circa 1991 surrounded by my Indianapolis Public Schools colleagues leading a cheer for the ISTEP, will emerge. It was time before standardized tests determined the future lives of children, teachers, and schools -- a time when at test was just a test -- no high stakes. In those days, teachers sought to gain favor with their principals, and principals with administration by championing THE TEST. We were naive. Nearly 25 years later, we know the harm these tests can do to children. When John Oliver exposes the standardized test deception on an HBO comedy show, it's time to say, "Enough is enough! We're not going to give/take these stupid test anymore.!" We can no longer use naivete as an excuse.  (...more)

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